in teaching research science based subjects, engineering, technology and innovation.
The University of Botswana (UB) Lecturer Prof Rapelang Marumo says the BIE conference organized by the UB and BIE is a testament to the two institution’s commitment to offering a forum for engineers and academics responsible for research, an important platform for exchange of information and ideas. He said the forum offers an opportunity
for debate of ideas capacity building and design of concrete actions to improve the impact of high level training, research and innovation on local, regional and international perspective.
He pointed out that the coining of the theme follows the trend on global stage in enhancing engineering education on teaching and research development in preparedness for post millennium development goals and global market trends and for the case of Botswana is post 50th independence celebration anniversary. He said the theme
‘‘In pursuit of engineering excellence beyondn 50: Economic Stimulus through Technology, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability,” calls for an economic paradigm shift and presents the African continent with challenges and opportunities. ‘‘It necessitates the continent to strengthen Africa’s human and institutional capacities in teaching
research science based subjects, engineering, technology and innovation so as to influence capital, youth, employment, industrial, and socio–economic development and inclusive growth. He said the outcome of the conference calls for astute aggressive measures on shift towards innovation and e-commerce universities, engineers, private sector and research institutes have an enormous responsibility in driving this endeavor.
Still on the issue of strengthening engineering education, Dr Ditiro Setlhaolo from the University of Botswana Faculty of Engineering presented a paper that looked at Enriching engineering education and in particular the quality of engineering education at the University of Botswana. They highlighted that the University–industry engagement was limited to student industrial placements and the institution has limited strategic partnerships with other regional academic institutions. “These challenges coupled with lack of guaranteed government support have
contributed to the University’s deficiency in making itself relevant to the industry and community it is intended to serve,” they said. They proposed that as an intervention measure, there is need to enrich Engineering Education Program (EEEP) whose aim is to ensure that the higher education system in Sub-Sahara Africa produces engineers with the skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of industry and to tackle challenges.